COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update

Last updated: 19 May 2020

These extraordinary times have led to understandable uncertainty and anxiety with the closure of schools around the world and the cancellation of exams. It remains our overwhelming priority to support you throughout this unprecedented situation and we continue to work through the detailed guidance and next steps that you need to take.

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You’ll be aware from recent announcements that in place of the May/June 2020 exam series, schools and colleges are being asked to provide a centre assessment grade for each student and the rank order of students within each grade. This applies to general qualifications including GCSE, AS and A Level, and the same principles will be applied to iPrimary, iLowerSecondary, International GCSE and International A level.

Our overriding aim this summer, as with any exam series, is to make sure that every student receives a grade or award that reflects their knowledge and understanding of the subject they have studied. This year is no different, and our focus remains on this objective, ultimately ensuring that students receive a grade or award that is accurate and fair so that they are able to progress.

Find out how to start preparing for submitting Centre Assessment Grades and candidate rank order

We currently have a number of assessment opportunities throughout the year for our international general qualifications (iPrimary, iLowerSecondary, International GCSE, and International AS/A Level). In response to your feedback, we are pleased to confirm that we've made a number of additions to the Autumn 2020 series and some refinements to the January 2021 series for these international qualifications.

These arrangements are available to all students using international qualifications, including new entries, deferrals and students wanting to resit from any previous exam series, including the May and June 2020 series and are subject to demand (see below for further details).

iPrimary and iLowerSecondary

Further to recent communications, there will be an Autumn series, starting this year, for all subjects in iPrimary and iLowerSecondary.

International GCSE

We'll be offering exams for all our International GCSE subjects in Autumn 2020 (exact dates and timetable to be confirmed). This is an additional arrangement for 2020 only. We will be running a focused January 2021 series of Mathematics A, Mathematics B, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

International AS/A Level (IAL)

We will be adding a number of subjects to our existing International AS/A Level Autumn series, including those assessments where the final opportunity for students to sit these would have been in May/June 2020. Please note that the complete Autumn term schedule is under review and existing timing and schedules for the current IAL October series are subject to change. We will confirm further details on this as soon as possible.

View the full list of subject availability and changes for each qualification in the Autumn series (PDF | 71 KB)

Our next update will provide timelines for the series including entry deadlines for the Autumn series. Please note that qualification subjects may be withdrawn if there is no demand by the entry deadline.

Please note: This applies to our international general qualifications only. The UK general qualifications (GCSEs and A levels) are not included and are part of the Ofqual consultation process, about which you can find more information below.

Find out how GCSEs, AS and A levels will be awarded in summer 2020

Here are further details on how we'll provide results for our International AS/A Level for the May/June 2020 window and what you need to provide.

For those students entered for International AS/A Level exams in May/June 2020, we'll be asking centres to submit a centre assessment grade and rank order for each unit for which students have an entry this May/June 2020. This applies to any unit entry for the May/June 2020 exam series, including for those students entered for re-sits unit(s).

For International A Level Law, which follows a linear assessment, we'll ask centres to submit a single assessed grade for the subject and a single rank order of students at each grade.

For International AS/A Level exams (except Law), we'll use this information to award grades at unit level for the May/June 2020 series. These grades will also be assigned a notional single UMS (Uniform Mark Scale) mark. The mark will be a single notional mark for all students that achieve the same grade on each unit. This means that this mark can be carried forward towards the total marks required to achieve the qualification grade, for this series and future series, and students can continue with their existing study, exam pattern and progression.

Students who already have a unit result(s) from previous exam series can continue to cash in these units for a qualification grade for the May/June 2020 series or future exam series.

Centre Assessment Grading and rank order for IAL FAQs (PDF | 91 KB)

View our guidance on Centre Assessment Grades and rank order, where we’ll continue to update you and share guidance and support

Following the Ofqual consultation we wanted to provide you with more information about checking and updating your entries for General Qualifications:  

GCSE 
GCSE short course 
AS and A Level 
Foundation and Higher Project (FPQ and HPQ 
Extended Project (EPQ) 
Advanced Extension Award in Maths Qualification
Entry Level Certificate
Mathematics in Context 
Digital Applications 
Edexcel Award in Mathematics 
International GCSE 
International  AS and A Level
iPrimary and iLowerSecondary   

Your statements of entry are available to view and download on Edexcel Online (EOL).  

We are asking that you ensure all information is correct and any entries or amendments are submitted no later than 15 May 2020. You can make all changes via standard method of either EDI or EOL.    

If you've already submitted amendment files, we'll continue to process these and, if we need to clarify anything with you, we'll be in touch. 

The deadline for withdrawing entries for the May/June exam series to 12 May 2020. Please note that, for students to receive a grade, they must still be entered for qualifications, as normal. 

NB: You will not be able to submit changes through EDI or EOL after 15 May. 

To provide you with more time to plan ahead, we have decided to extend the date you can withdraw entries for the May/June exam series to 12 May 2020. Please note that in order for students to receive a grade, they must still be entered for qualifications, as normal.

Schools who work with the British Council should contact the British Council in order to make withdrawals.

For the Summer 2020 exam series we will be collecting grades for the Entry Level Certificate (ELC) on Edexcel Online in the usual way by 15 May 2020. We know that this will be challenging. Please aim for 15 May but it is likely that the system will be open for longer. 

We have outlined the steps to follow below:

Where you have finished assessing candidates please enter ‘1’, ‘2’, or ‘3’ according to the level your student has achieved.

For candidates you have not finished assessing, review the evidence for the student (classwork, homework, completed assessments) and award a ‘grade’ of ‘1’, ‘2’ or ‘3’ using your professional judgement.

Once you have finished entering the grades on Edexcel Online, you must print out a copy of the ‘grades’ for your own records.

Please note: We will not be collecting a sample in Summer 2020. However, you should retain your students’ work in case we have queries about the data.

We understand that exam fees are a pressing issue for many schools and colleges. Some of you have been in touch and I know you’d like clarity on this issue as soon as possible.

Our priority is on providing the best possible support and service through these unprecedented times. For example, in providing schools, colleges and parents with a range of our most effective teaching and learning resources free of charge.

We are working hard with the Department for Education, Ofqual and other exam boards to define the approach to providing students with grades this summer and don’t yet fully understand the impact on our costs. Once we do, any savings that we make will be passed back to you.

It is important that the entry process remains the same as in previous years and, in order for students to receive a grade, they must be entered for qualifications, as normal.

All students have worked incredibly hard towards their exams in a range of settings such as schools, colleges and work, including private candidates.

> Here are the arrangements for private candidates for the May/June 2020 exam series

Students who are in year 10 and below and have been entered for exams in May/June 2020 will be eligible to receive a Centre Assessment Grade and rank order this summer as part of their Centre’s submission. 

You can read the latest Ofqual announcement as they have published initial decisions on grading proposals for 2020.

Ofqual publishes initial decisions on GCSE and A level grading proposals for 2020

 

We are doing all we can to enable students to take their desired next steps in education including regularly communicating with universities and governments globally about the exam cancellations and our progress in awarding calculated grades. Several universities and admissions bodies have already confirmed that these grades will be accepted for undergraduate entry as with previous years, and that they will apply the same flexibility and fairness to students across all UK, national and international examination boards.

See a selection of calculated grade acceptance statements from global universities:

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Years of hard work goes into developing the knowledge, skills and a love of learning, to gain a qualification that will help student progress. Pearson qualifications include a range of support including, training, online resources and professional development. Throughout these unprecedented times learning continues and we have provided a package of free online resources to support this.

Ofqual have also put together more detailed guidance with answers to frequently asked questions for teachers, parents and students: 

Summer 2020 grades: Guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers (PDF)

In the meantime, if you would like to speak to us directly, you can submit questions through our contact form or by calling +44 (0) 120 4770 696.

Further information and guidance
 

BTEC information and guidance for international centres

LCCI information and guidance for international centres

PTE Academic information and guidance for international centres

You can submit questions using our contact form. If you need to talk to us about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the effect on your centre and learners, Exam Officers can call us on +44 (0) 120 4770 696.